Bears backup quarterback Brian Hoyer threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns on 28 of 36 passes in Sunday’s 17-14 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Sound the alarm, Bears fans, because that must mean we have a quarterback controversy on our hands.
Except that’s not the case, because when Jay Cutler returns to the playing field from his thumb injury, he will resume his perch atop the quarterback depth chart.
Hoyer is exactly what he showed on Sunday: a nice veteran backup who can fill in when called upon and not steer the ship into an iceberg. What he is not is a long-term solution at quarterback.
For starters, Hoyer has been on more NFL rosters than Kim Kardashian has had husbands. (Side note: You’ll have to fact-check me on that. I’m not in the habit of keeping up with Hollywood drama.) But Hoyer has been on six rosters in his eight seasons in the league.
If you’re telling me that the Bears see something in the player that no other ballclub in the league has seen up to this point, well — that would be a first.
Secondly, and more importantly, the Bears offense becomes limited with Hoyer taking snaps.
Yes, he put up 300 yards against the Lions on Sunday. But most of those came off rollouts and checkdowns. If you get a smart, disciplined defense with fast playmakers, Hoyer looks less like a fantasy quarterback and more like a product of the John Shoop dink-and-dunk offense of yesteryear.
We know that Cutler is not the long-term solution anymore — at least, it seems very unlikely at this point. So, I understand those who want to say, “Let’s see what Hoyer can do; he’s three years younger and what do we have to lose?”
But Cutler can make all the NFL throws and defenses must respect his big-play arm and not crowd the line of scrimmage to stuff the run game.
That is why Cutler must resume his place as the Bears starting quarterback when he is healthy.